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Benjamin Netanyahu Rushed Off Stage After Rockets Fired From Gaza

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Published:

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was rushed out by his bodyguards amid his speech after sounds of siren flared warning of a rocket attack over Ashdod and Ashkelon. The siren sounds came moments after Benjamin Netanyahu announced to annex a part of the conflicted West Bank, the Jordan Valley if he came back to power in the September legislative elections due to be held on September 17. 

According to a tweet by Israel Defence Forces, two rockets fired from Gaza towards the Southern cities of Israel, according to The Jerusalem Post. While no injuries were reported, Benjamin Netanyahu was heard saying, "Okay, clear out," as his bodyguards urged him to rush out. 

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The Prime Minister of Israel resumed his speech 20 minutes later and said, "If Hamas is shooting at us in a live broadcast, you can understand they don't want us here. So prepare for another one. We'll evacuate, and then we'll return."

Israel's response

In response to the intercepted drones, Israel aircraft attacked 15 Hamas terror targets in the Gaza strip, including a weapon manufacturing site, several locations in organisation's naval compound and terror tunnel, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) announced.  Israel has occupied the conflicted West Bank since 1967 after the war with Palestine, with the 'two-state solution' still looming over the Israel-Palestine conflict. 

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Arab's response to West Bank annexation claim

President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas in a statement condemning the announcement said, "All signed agreements with Israel and the obligations resulting from them would end" if Benjamin Netanyahu walked his talk. 

The Arab League stated that the annexation move would violate international law and "torpedo" the peace foundation. Turkey slammed as "racist" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's controversial pledge to annex the Jordan Valley. 

"The election promise of Netanyahu, who is giving all kind of illegal, unlawful and aggressive messages before the election, is a racist apartheid state," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu wrote on his official Twitter account in both English and Turkis on Tuesday. "Will defend the rights and interests of our Palestinian brothers and sisters till the end," he added.

Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi cited the plan to be a "serious escalation" that would "push the whole region towards violence." Even Saudi Arabia condemning the announcement called it a "very dangerous escalation," further calling an Islamic Cooperation (OIC) emergency meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the 57 member states.  

From the Indian perspective, it has traditionally has believed in a two-state solution, however, with the changing dynamics of India's relationship with Israel, New Delhi has diluted his support for Palestine.

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(With ANI inputs)